Ireland’s Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan announced today that the Republic would have 100% broadband coverage by September 2010 under the remit of the country’s National Broadband Scheme (NBS), writes The Irish Times. EUR223 million (USD290 million) is being invested in the scheme to provide broadband access in remote and rural parts of Ireland currently without any form of high speed internet connection; the government estimates this to be approximately 33% of the country. The NBS initiative will provide access to a further 223,000 homes and businesses to connect to the always-on, high speed internet connections with an initial minimum download speed of 1.2Mbps. Investment is coming from Exchequer funds, EU co-financing and service provider 3, which has been selected as preferred tenderer for the scheme. 3’s successful bid beat off competition from BT Ireland, eircom and a consortium made up of IFA and Motorola.